The Araucana Chicken Breed is extremely rare and that is precisely the thing that draws chickens lovers to them.
Araucana’s are so often confused with the Ameraucana and Easter Egger breeds, but they are very different if you know what you are looking for. We will explore this unique and rare breed, it’s characteristics, and much more in this article. So join me as we dive (or fly) in.
Araucana Chicken Mini History Lesson
This rare breed was imported to the United States from Chile’s Gulf of Arauco in the early 1930’s. According to the Araucana Club of America the breed started in a village of fierce Araucana Indians. There were two specific breeds in Northern Chile that carried the traits we see in the Araucana breed: Colloncas which laid blue eggs and were “rumpless birds,” and Quetros that have ear tufts.
Because they are from South America, they are also called South American Rumpless. Not exactly the most desirable name to be had (I don’t think I would want Rumpless to be part of my name).
The American Poultry Association, otherwise known as the APA, didn’t recognize them as a breed until 1976.
Why Would Anyone Want To Breed For “Rumpless” Chickens?
It was thought that, without tail feathers, predators would have a harder time catching them. Sounds reasonable to me.
Araucana Breed Appearance and Personality
What Do Araucana Chickens Look Like?
Araucana chickens are quite funny little birds. They have cute little ear tufts, no tail feathers (this is called rumpless), and a very unique overall feathery appearance. You might even say they have a windblown model look around their faces, ready to pose for the photographer. They really are very irresistible.
What Colors Do Araucana Chickens Come In?
- Black Breasted Red
- Golden Duckwing
- Silver Duckwing
What Size Are Araucana Chickens?
The cartoon like chickens are not huge, nor are they bantam sized. They are the monkey (uh hum…chicken) in the middle, so to speak. The average weight of this breed is 5 pounds. However, they do come in a bantam size as well.
Are Araucana Chickens Friendly?
Boy are they! These chickens are incredibly people friendly. They make perfect backyard buddies. They will be your best friend if you throw them a few treats here and there. You might as well call them super-friendly-lap-snugglers! Of course, they have individual personalities, but they are well known for their docile and sweet temperaments.
They are known to be pretty comical little companions. If you like to smile and laugh while looking at, and watching a coop show, then Araucana’s might just be a good fit.
What is Special About Araucana Chicken Eggs?
The hens are blue egg layers! Yes indeed, they lay blue-shelled eggs. This is simply a novelty that never gets old. They aren’t as bright as robin eggs, but they are a nice blue color that everyone loves. Of course, the color of blue can… and will vary.
Are Araucana Chickens Good Layers?
You can search the web all day long and find MANY different answers to this question. I think it’s because they are rare and hatcheries don’t carry them, and therefore do not have published information on them. You’ll find a range from about 180 to 260 eggs per year. The frequency of eggs also depends on their age, their health, and their individuality.
I think it’s safe to say that most folks who raise Araucana chickens are more interested in their fun appearance than how many eggs they lay.
How To Take Care of Araucana Chickens
- Provide a safe coop, especially for nighttime
- Make sure they have clean, fresh water at all times
- Feed high quality chicken feed
- Enhance their healthcare with protein packed treats
- Keep their living quarters free of pests and parasites
Can I Buy Araucana Chickens at a Hatchery?
No, you cannot. They are extremely rare and can only be purchased through breeders. Although you may THINK you are buying Araucana chickens at a hatchery or a farm store, but they sell Ameracana’s and Easter Egger’s. More on that in a minute.
The great news is that, if you buy these from a breeder, they would be able to offer much useful advice on the breed that could be helpful.
Why Are Araucana Chickens Extremely Rare?
Don’t hate the messenger on this one, it’s a bit of a sad tale. This breed has something that is called a “tuft gene.” This tuft gene is a lethal gene and most likely caused by a mutation, and you and I both know that mutations are usually a bad thing.
Due to this mutation, the hatch rate for this breed is not good at all. The hatch rate is about 50% on average. You can now see why hatcheries don’t sell these, it wouldn’t be profitable if a high rate of baby chicks don’t make it through the incubation period.
What’s the Difference Between Araucana, Ameraucana, and Easter Egger Chickens?
Araucana, Ameraucana, and Easter Egger chickens have a rough time keeping their own identity in this world. All three of them are often mistaken for the other. If only they could talk! They would be sure to straighten out all the people that put them in the wrong category (including farm stores).
So, what are the differences? Well, it’s really not that complicated. Let’s walk through each one listing their unique characteristics.
- Rumpless (no tail feathers)
- Has ear tufts
- No beard
- No muffs
- Breeds true
- Blue Eggs
- Has tail feathers
- No ear tufts
- Have beards
- Have muffs
- Slate Legs & Feet
- Breeds true
- Blue Eggs
- Hybrid that has mixed characteristics
- Many egg colors (but each hen will only lay one of those colors)
- Does not breed true
What Does “Breeds True” Mean?
The Araucana, the star of this article, breed true. This means it’s pure bred and produces the same characteristics consistently across the breed. As noted in the bullet points above, so do the Ameraucana’s. However, Easter Eggers do not – their appearance varies greatly from bird to bird because they are a hybrid.
Are Araucana’s the Right Chickens For Me?
Chicken keepers can find themselves wanting to add every chicken breed to their own flock. And if you have the space and resources, why not?
The Araucana breed is certainly one that would be enticing if you’ve already tried most other breeds since they are rare. You know, so you can show them off to all of your chicken friends! Even though it’s a beginner-friendly, the fact that these feathered friends are harder to find makes them more of an advanced breed.
A happy wife, mother, teacher, writer, hobby farmer, lover of chickens, and contributor to Pampered Chicken Mama!